The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) was considering rebuilding a 100+ year-old bus maintenance and storage facility. It was in the process of transitioning its fleet to battery-electric buses and needed enough space for over 200 buses. 

SFMTA worked with the local community and city agencies to provide up to 575 housing units jointly developed with the renovated bus yard.

As the SFMTA’s financial advisor, Arup helped structure and shape the project’s procurement strategy. Arup assisted the SFMTA with market soundings, financial feasibility and affordability analysis. We drafted the procurement documentation and managed the procurement process, including proposals evaluation and winner selection.  

By combining the replacement of ageing infrastructure and the transitioning to a battery-electric bus fleet with new housing, the project delivered significant social value. With good transit access and high sustainability and resilience standards, the new housing – at least half of which was affordable – aligned with San Francisco’s policy goals.  

Delivering successful procurement advisory

Arup helped resolve different requirements to finance the project’s components. The SFMTA owns the new bus facility and makes payments to the public infrastructure developer, whereas housing residents pay rent to the private housing developer.

Our strategy established:

  • Infrastructure developer-led procurement giving SFMTA a single point of responsibility for delivery of the project
  • A process that ensured competition, innovation and clarity of responsibilities between the lead infrastructure developer and the housing developer
  • A pre-development phase that reconciled environmental and planning approvals, community outreach, and selection of construction contractors for final pricing. 

Appropriate allocation of costs and responsibilities

Because elements of the new building were to be shared by the bus yard and the housing, it was essential to appropriately allocate costs and responsibilities during construction and for ongoing maintenance. The project agreements ensured that housing tenants and SFMTA employees would enjoy a well-kept building with appropriate segregation of uses. Achieving a functional coexistence of uses was also essential to securing financing for each component of the project.